Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Haven, by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Sadie Lapp returns home after spending the winter with her newlywed sister in Ohio. Her return is completely unexpected and surprising, but not as much as the fact that she comes carrying a baby in a basket. Soon, she is the talk of her Amish county. Everybody assumes the baby is hers, even Gideon, the young man that has been courting her for the past few months, and his reaction and response to the situation puts a strain in their relationship.

Meanwhile, Sadie starts getting closer to Will, a troubled college student who is staying at the Lapp farm acting as a guard for a pair of falcons that is nesting there. Although Will is an Englisher, Sadie can’t help but feel attracted to him; and he cannot help being attracted to her. As their relationship grows, Gideon does everything he can to have her forgiveness and win her back.

Who are the baby’s parents? Who left him with Sadie? Why? And which way will Sadie’s heart go in the end?

Suzanne Woods Fisher is a great story teller. She is funny and endearing where the story needs it; sweet and tender where it calls for it; and compelling and profound where it requires it. Here we have a very well written love triangle that makes you feel for all three involved, care for each of them, and constantly change your mind when it comes to who Sadie should choose in the end. This is a sweet story of love and forgiveness.

Sadie is thrust into a situation that would be hard for anyone, even more so for a 15 year old girl: a rumor that her trip to visit her sister looked highly suspicious and that the baby she brought home is hers. She learns the hard way about gossip: how hurtful and unfair it is, and how incredibly fast it spreads. But through this entire situation, quiet and shy Sadie learns to find her voice, to confront things head on, speak her mind and grow up. A great example of how God uses these types of situations in our life for our own good. However, although Sadie certainly did need to grow up and stand up for herself, I think the author forgot that she is only 15 years old: she sounds way too mature, too wise when handing out advice to much older people. A 21 year old or maybe even an 18 year old Sadie would have made more sense.

Now, in this story we not only get to see Sadie’s side of things; we see Gideon’s and Will’s points of view, as well as Sadie’s father’s and M.K.’s points of view. And that is one point of view too many. I don’t mind her father’s side of the story simply because it’s not Sadie’s love story alone, but her father’s as well. And I loved seeing him sort out his feelings for Fern, my favorite character in this series. But M.K, Sadie’s youngest sister, is too annoying for me and I constantly wished there was less of her. The way she is written, she is mostly a caricature, an exaggeration.

The story kept my interest and my anticipation all the way through. I wanted to see Sadie’s father happy with Fern, a remarkable, very well written character; a sweet and caring woman disguised as a stern housekeeper. But mostly, of course, I wanted to see the resolution of this funny and interesting love triangle. Sadly, however, I was disappointed. Although the story is a great journey, the ending left me without closure; it was too open and inconclusive. Sadie’s final and most expected choice is mostly implied. In the end, we didn’t get to see much of Sadie, so her thought process was lost on me. However, although disappointed with the ending, the story is so well written, the characters so likable (well, most of them anyway) that I still felt satisfied.

4 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Revell through The Christian Manifesto (cool site! Check it out.) in exchange of an honest review.

No comments:

Post a Comment